Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekend on the water.

Not the whole time, mind you. But considering I left for the boat on Saturday morning at 8:50 a.m., returning at some time after four in the afternoon.  (Not sure, really) And then did our usual “Fall Series” race on Sunday,  there wasn’t much room for too much else.

I just might have got a wee bit too much sun on the Saturday,  as it was one of those totally cloudless days,  and even though you might *think* you’re using sunblock and trying to stay in the shade of the sail,  the water does a good job of bouncing the sun all over the place. 

It’s not like I was totally fried or anything,  but I did have that “hot head” thing going on.  Just drank copious amounts of water for the rest of the evening.



At the start of Saturdays race,  I was pretty sure these guys were going faster than any of the boats,  since the race committee had set up the start line in a bit of a “hole”,  and it took a bit of finagling to get over the start line.

This was a “Pursuit Race”,  with boats starting at ten minute intervals.   We damned near used up our entire ten minutes,  which didn’t bode well for how we faired later on. 


Our destination.  The CCIW tower off East Hamilton or thereabouts.

You can read the brief definition here if you’re remotely interested.  Let’s just say we didn’t finish in first place?  Meh,  my lunch was good.


Anyhoodle,  Sunday’s outing was a little shorter,  but no less painful,  as the wind died on the final leg and the crew mutinied.  Well, I’m pretty sure I was the cause of the uprising, since lack of wind for sailing is right up there with waterboarding in the torture department. 



Dead as a fart.  And that was before the race.  It got worse.

There comes a time when you have to simply declare, “No mas!”

We radioed in that we were retiring,  which was like opening the floodgates,  since three or four boats decided to pack it in almost immediately.



I guess they were waiting for someone to cry “Uncle”. 

We discovered that the engine wasn’t getting sufficient water,  so we opted for a tow.




Unfortunately,  I know exactly what to do.  This is as a result of boatloads (oh,  there’s a bit of a pun) of experience in years gone by with a motor that wouldn’t run.  Need a tow line hooked up?  I’m yer man!

This particular incident was just a bit of a fluke though.  We haven’t had any rain in a while, so the harbour is a bit clogged with crud,  so we figure some of it got into the intake.  That’s as near as we can figure anyway.

When I left the boat yesterday afternoon (had to get home to cook burgers) the skipper was still attempting to back flush the thing.  I haven’t heard otherwise,  so my guess is he was successful.

We’ll find out next Sunday.


We’re still having some crazy good fall weather.  Fingers crossed it holds on for a while,  even though I’m curious for a good rain storm to experience the new roof and eaves troughs. 

I’ll suffer the drought though.  I don’t mind.


Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Summer Weather.

It’s just too bad that we didn’t get more of it say,  back in the summer??

But I’ll take it.

The summer weather was less than ideal,  but it’s best we don’t rehash any of that.

A couple more jobs have been sorted out in the last several days. 

First of all, I figured I had better take one hard look at the chimney on Saturday,  which was right about at the point when I had just about given up on hearing from a Masonary Dude whom Travelling Companion had contacted. 

I guess I was getting a little fed up playing phone tag with various outfits,  so I very summarily left it up to her.

Well,  it didn’t take much convincing to realize that the entire chimney structure was basically pooched.  I’m pretty sure this goes back to a chimney fire that took place way back in the eighties at some point,  and that was likely the beginning of the end of the thing. 


The cap was in sad shape,  and ultimately water was able to get down into the structure from time to time. 



So,  a commitment was forthcoming from Masonry Dude to have a crew here first thing Monday morning,  and sure enough, they showed up right on schedule.

They spent the entire day,  like until well past quitting time,  since the mandate was to get it done all in one day.

Which is exactly what they did.



Honestly,  I haven’t gone up to inspect.  And there’s a good reason.

See,  when asked about when the new roof was going on,  my response was, “Any minute now.”

The roofers were scheduled to show up on Monday morning,  which was part of the reason for the slight panic.


They were pretty good when it came to dealing with surprises,  since there was plenty of roof to work on while the brick layers were hard at it.

That’s what, phase three?  Or maybe phase four?

All I know is,  ye olde bank account is starting to get a bit anaemic.



And that’s because we went with a steel roof. 


So now it’s starting to look even more like a house that was transplanted from the Old World. 


Oddly enough,  I don’t seem to have a side view.  Not with all the panels on anyway.

These are the steel panels here..



It’s tricky to walk on the roof now,  as stepping into the middle of the panel is not a good idea.  Supposed to walk on the front edges.  I’ll have to practise.

Or better yet,  maybe I’ll never need to go up on the bloody roof ever again?  That would work for me.  The thing is warrantied for fifty years.  Not too sure I’ll be around by then.

The squirrels made one attempt the very first morning after the installation. 

There was only the one.

I didn’t hear any little furry tailed bugger plummeting to earth,  but they sure don’t fling themselves onto the roof directly over our bedroom anymore and scamper about.   Man that used to bug me!  Worth the extra expense right there!


And I think that’s all I got. 

I have another little project on the go,  but I’ll leave that for the next time.  Whenever that might be.


Keep it between the ditches,  and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Back to normal farting.

Well, and normal eating too I suppose.

See,  when you’re doing a certain kind of “prep”,  you’d best not stray too far from the facilities.  Plus,  don’t even think of letting off any kind of pressure.  Perceived or otherwise.

You’ll be sorry.

You may recall that I had a little visit back in the spring with a particular Doc who quite often gets behind in his work?  But tries to “rectify” the situation?   

I got a million of them.

The thing is,  after that little visit,  it was determined that muggins here had to present himself at the Oakville Trafalgar Hospital outpatient cattle call/waiting room,  all prepped and ready for yet another anal probe.

Fun times,  let me tell ya.

Actually,  the event itself is kind of a non event really,  since the whole prep business is just about one of the worst tortures known to man. 

Forget water boarding. 

Just starve a guy,  and then make him take a couple tablets of Dulcolax,  followed immediately by a special glass of something called Pico-salax.

It’s exothermic!   Oh ya.  Gotta wait till it cools down.  Although,  I mixed it with cold water to start with.  What a witches brew that sh*t is!   Wowsers.

Then watch what happens!  There’s usually two or three “courtesy flushes” if you know what’s good for you.

Ever been to Niagara Falls? 

Try to imagine it coming out yer….well,  never mind.



Anyway,  it’s all good.  Nothing was malignant or anything.  I think they like to have you in the hospital in case things go a little south?  It was fine.  Five polyps!  Seriously?   A couple of them were a little on the large size too.  I watched most of it,  but must have missed a few bits,  since I was surprised at the final count. 

They give good drugs.  Of course,  that meant no alcomohol for a couple days,  but hey!  I lost five pounds!

Travelling Companion had to chauffeur me home.


So I was kinda going a little nuts today trying to catch up on a couple things.  Managed to pull a muscle. 

In my ass.

Don’t you hate when that happens??

It’s one of the ones you need to keep you from falling over,  so literally a pain in the butt.



I did manage to put a couple coats of finish on some trim that I’ll be installing up at sister-in-law’s place.  Spent the rest of the time up on the roof.  Looks like we’ll be tearing down the chimney and rebuilding it before the roofers come. 

When I say “we”,  I don’t include me in that equation.  Too big a job for one guy,  so I have someone coming first thing Monday morning with his crew to get at it.  It’s gonna be a bit nuts around here,  since the roofing company said they’d likely be showing up on Monday as well.



My bad.  I’ve neglected to get this sorted out,  and now I’m under the gun.  Has to be done in the name of marital tranquility,  shall we say?


That’s all I got.   Wish me luck.   Enjoy the rest of your weekend,  and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A minor redemption.

Bit of a busy day,  in the running around department. 

Took the Merc in for a brake job.  Didn’t go to the stealership dealership,  since they were quoting just about 150 bucks more than most any other place,  including SWC Automotive.  Which is where I ended up.

You may recall that last summer,  when I was installing the humongous front window,  I had a couple strapping lads who were willing to come by and hoist the thing up for me?   Well,  one of those guys works at this place.  That was kind of the way of introduction.  Plus,  I had taken Daughter Number Two’s car there,  so I figured I’d see if they were willing to work on the Merc. 

Anyway,  I never even mentioned that I was taking along the winter tires,  but since tires need to come off to take a gander at the brakes,  I asked if they wouldn’t mind just swapping them out for the summer ones.  No problem.  And no charge.

Hey,  it’s starting to get bloody cold in these parts,  so now is as good a time as any.

Here’s the other thing:

Once upon a time,  when I took the Merc to the dealership for an oil change,  they said they’d need the car ALL DAY.  Are you kidding me?  I’ve done oil changes in my driveway in well under a half hour.  All day?

I could never get my head around that,  unless of course their shuttle driver was off for part of the day.  Who knows?  But hey, they did wash the car.

Big whoop.

My appointment this morning was for 10:30.  I got there a few minutes early,  and the car was already on the hoist by 10:30.   See,  that kind of efficiency works for me.  Plus, I could see them working.  Not back in some mysterious labyrinth only accessible through doors marked,  “Authorised Personnel Only”.

And that’s not to say I stood around in the shop watching.  Not cool.  They don’t need me there.  But I still like to know what’s going on.


Oh,  and I almost forgot.  They had already ordered the parts!  No waiting around.  Like the lad at the desk said,  “If there’s no restocking fee,  we’d sooner just have the parts here at the ready,  so you’re not waiting all day.”

What a concept.


But I’m getting side tracked.  There were a couple other little errands that I had to run,  including picking up a mattress,  as well as the trim for the family room (for lack of a better term) at my sister-in-law’s place.  The floor was done YEARS ago,  and nobody ever bothered to put back any trim.  We’ll sort that.



The end of my day consisted of washing the summer tires before putting them away,  which was interrupted by a little repair.

The left rear tire has had to have a little air added to it about four times this summer,  and I had a sneaking suspicion that I had picked up a nail.


Sure enough.


It’s that metal bit next to the yellow mark.  Not sure where I got a roofing nail,  but that was the culprit.

Now here’s the thing.

I can fix that!


YEARS ago,  I bought a couple little tire repair tools for just such a contingency.  It’s been a few years since I’ve used it,  but I haven’t forgotten how it works.




Anyone who has done this knows the drill.  First,  find the nail.  That was thanks to the eagle eyes of Daughter Number Two.  (I’d still be out there).

Then,  all the while trying not to let all the air escape, (although it doesn’t really matter if you have a compressor)  make the hole big enough for that big darning needle thingy.   There’s a strip of some sort of rubbery goopy stuff that I’ve shoved through the end.

Then shove that goopy bit all the way in,  yank it out (‘cause then it breaks off) and yer done.

Bob’s yer Uncle.



No more getting dire warnings from the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) next summer.

I hope.


I’ll be scanning the driveway for nails.


That’s all I got. 

No really.  I’m just happy to have fixed a slow leak and not have to pay for it.  My version of something akin to “redemption”.   Makes up for the fact that I ordered the wrong sized mattress,  but we’re not going there.



Keep it between the ditches.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

So that was Phase Two.

Which is partly why I’ve been somewhat absent here in Blogland.  It happens.

Something to do with lack of discipline.   Either that,  or not having too darned much to say.

I didn’t head out with the sailing crew this past Sunday,  as it was the annual Terry Fox run.   There was some marginal hypothermia.  Not for the runners or walkers.  Just for the volunteers doing the registration and such.

No big deal.  It was nice and warm at the pub afterwards.


Anyhoodle,  we’ve now got our soffits,  facia and evestroughing sorted out.

We’ve kind of been waiting for this.  We signed the contract back on July 15th.  The weather has been less than stellar, but I still have the impression that too many jobs were taken on.  Just my impression.


There was some pretty nasty looking stuff that we took down. 

Um, *they* took down.  Let’s be clear.



Meanwhile,  I wanted to open up the soffits a bit more not only for ventilation,  but to run some conduit for the possibility of some cameras later on.  




The ventilation that had been there was woefully inadequate.



And you can see there was some nasty business when it came to the facia.  I decided I was quite capable of replacing the rotted out facia myself.  They wanted to charge something like $7.50 a linear foot. 

I don’t think so.



I just used some of the cedar that I’ve had hanging around for God knows how long.  Just happened to be the right width.



And yes,  they extruded the troughs on site.



Anyway,  I’ll spare you all the details.

Installer Dude did say he had been zapped on other occasions.



We were keeping a close eye on him.


I wouldn’t have been working that close to those wires,  that’s for sure.

Actually,  being up at the peak of the roof on a ladder?  

I think not.



So that’s that.

I spent a certain amount of time this morning putting the final copper finial on,  and trimming back the remaining facia to make it all work.

This place never came with an instruction manual.  I think it would have been a thick one.


Chances are the roof is going to get started this coming Monday.  

Fingers crossed.


Enjoy your week.


Thanks for stopping by.



Monday, September 8, 2014

So long Chrome, it’s been real.

I’ve had enough of your “Chrome is not responding”.  And the only solution is to either close the program,  or wait for it to what? wake up? 


When it gets so bad that the whole computer goes into fits? 

Well,  that’s enough of that.  It’s been a pretty solid working computer so far,  let’s not f**k that up,  shall we?

And yes,  some of you computer wizards are going to pipe up and say, “But Bob,  you can do this or that,  and your problem will be solved.”  

Um. No.  We’re done.  I shouldn’t have to *do* anything.

One of the solutions on line was to uninstall Chrome and then reinstall it.  Of course,  wanting to save all my Bookmarks Favourites (note spelling),  I figured I had better reload Firefox,  just for you know,  fun.  

And because I know I can’t do too darned much with IE.  I’m stuck with it,  but that’s my choice.  Didn’t buy a Mac, because I wanted a computer for four hundred dollars.  Not fourteen hundred.  So that’s why I’m stuck with IE.  BUT,  it would open and run,  even when Chrome was “not responding”.   Hm…


So then after having a look around Firefox (they’ve made some improvements) I just figured there was no point taking up with Chrome again.  I mean,  why?

There are a few little things that are different,  and I get that,  but the reason I had to go to Chrome in the first place,  was because there was some sort of glitch with blogger that Firefox wasn’t having any part of.  Seems they fixed that. 

Well now.  Thanks Mozilla! that was the only shortcoming.



Let me just give you a little analogy, using terms of reference that I can relate to.

See,  some twenty two years ago, I bought my table saw.  It came from the factory with the ability to cut square.  And I don’t just mean that the fence is parallel to the blade,  because that wouldn’t be right either. 

Some 10 years later, even though I probably didn’t need to, I took the table off the cabinet and gave it a complete overhaul.  Waxed the Trunnions, cleaned it all up, that kind of thing.  Then when I reattached the table to the cabinet,  I once again had to set the saw up so that it would not only cut parallel to the fence (it’s a Biesemeyer) but would also cut square.  The ability to cut square is important.

It has continued to do so ever since.  And I may or may not ever clean it again. 

It’ll still work like a charm.

No need for “updates”,  or going in and getting rid of some sort of “bloat ware”.    There aren’t even any “apps”.  The only application used,  is when I apply force to a sheet of plywood to make a cut.  It can be a dangerous application,  I do realise that,  but I have the proper guards in place.  And the strength of that particular “app” is directly related to how cheap I am when it comes to replacing or sharpening the blade.

Now compare that to a computer program.  What’s with all the updates?  Can’t you get it right the first time?  And if you don’t get the updates,  eventually that sucker is gonna die

Of course,  it’s not a life and death situation when it comes to computers.  You will live.  You just might be frustrated to no end.  Not like when you buy a vehicle,  for example.

See,  right about now, if I had a GM,  I’d be a little nervous,  what with all them thar recalls and such.   But hey, the last one of those was a pick-up that I leased,  and that sucker went right back when the lease was up.  Never did run right.  AND there was a recall when it was less than a year old.  That was my only trip to the Stealership.  They couldn’t tell me why it idled so rough either.  I think I had worked through the “stale gas”  that was supposedly the cause from when it was new.  Seriously.  That’s what the first place told me.   Sitting too long??  That’s why it idles like a POS? 


That,  and the tranny started to hesitate.  This thing barely had sixty thousand miles on the odometer.  Couldn’t go much over that.  It was a lease,  after all.

So back it went.  I’d wager it’s in a junk yard by now.



And yes,  we went out to race yesterday.  Trust me,  I have gobs more pictures of sailboats,  but I won’t upload but a tiny sampling.




Couldn’t resist a couple pics of this ‘99.

This is that last incarnation of a “C & C”,  even though it’s not really a C & C from the original two owners.   Long story.  Click the link.




Got a nice shot of the big boats starting first.




Our friend Mike on the Committee boat.   He sailed with us most Thursday nights.  There are times when one volunteers for these sorts of things.


Never fails.  Ready to round the mark and someone cuts in front. 


We made it anyway.  Didn’t have to call Rule 18.  Go ahead,  click on that one and try and decipher it.  I dares ya.



No comment.

Well,  except that we were trying to make that mark.


And of course,  it wouldn’t be a proper race course without at least one idiot fisherman who figures the very best place to drop anchor is in the middle of the course.


It’s a big lake.  I do get that.  And we can certainly sail around him.

But like I said.  It’s a big lake.





Along with that moment when you briefly wonder, “Who has right of way?”

Um, for the most part,  the windward boat has to give way.  But it sometimes also depends on which way he’s heading. And whether or not we’re on Starboard tack. And…

Oh, never mind.


That’s enough rambling/ranting for today.


Keep yer knives sharp.

Thanks for stopping by.



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Suppose I should check in.

Seems that the Fall is “Cancer Season”.  

That doesn’t sound right. 

So let me ‘splain.  There’s the Terry Fox Run,  which has been going on for years and has become a huge deal.  That second link has a list of all the countries in which the run is held.

Then there was also something on the tube last night called Stand Up to Cancer,  which I didn’t watch,  since I don’t really watch too much TV to start with, but more money was raised no doubt.

In addition to that,  T.C. and I received an email from Daughter Number One a few days ago letting us know that she was going to be at the Waterdown Legion today to donate her hair. 

Add to that my refresher/orientation/whatever type of meeting at ten this morning,  and that pretty much filled most of the day. 

So we were kind of on the go for most of the day there,  and it all had to do with Cancer.  Or,  trying to get rid of it,  I guess I should say.


The Terry Fox Run is next Sunday,  and I’ve once again volunteered to sit and count money and tick off boxes.  “Dress in layers”  was our final instruction.

There was an additional email from our hostess of this morning with an attachment containing a recap of all the instructions.  

I’ll be studying it over the next week,  trust me.



It’s all about how you fill out the form.   That’s all I could possibly say about the whole thing without totally confusing myself.   Again.


No really.  It’s all good.  Remember,  I have *notes*

(Our Hostess or one of the Volunteers just might be reading this.  No need for panic.)


Then it was off to Waterdown for the the big snip.


I put a bunch of pics on the Book of Face,  but I’ll add one or two here.





Daughter Number One is on the left.   The Dude on the far right is a cancer survivor and was getting his head shaved. 



Said she hadn’t had hair that short since the Eighties.


It was fun.  And there was lunch.  All donated by the local eateries.   And that’s the way it should be.   Oh,  and we each did pony up twenty bucks to be there.  Plus I’m pretty sure T.C. ponied up some more dough for the cause.  

Other than a bit of weed pulling and killing off some offending wasps at my sister-in-law’s place,  that was the extent of the day.   Didn’t take any pictures of the wasp kill.  Didn’t think that would be prudent.  We’ll check on those little buggers later tomorrow methinks.



I saw this earlier on line.  I’m really tempted.

tee shirt

That’s all I got.


The skipper is picking me up tomorrow for an afternoon sail.    In the Fall the races are switched to Sundays,  due to the lack of evening daylight.  Makes it a bit of a logistical challenge,  but if he’s willing to swing by and fetch me,  I’ll work the foredeck for him.   Seems fair.


Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for stopping by.




Friday, September 5, 2014

So, are we lazy, or just stupid?

Each and every week when the garbage truck(s) are making their rounds, I do tend to be a bit of a Nosy Norah, and peer out to see just what they’re doing.

I mean,  they make enough noise.  It’s not like I have to make an effort.

Some sort of weakness I’m sure.  Or maybe I just want to see if they’re actually taking the crap I’ve put out there.

This week there was a fair amount of crap.  It was “bring out yer crap”  week,  along with the usual recycling and garden waste pick-up.  Plus of course,  actual garbage.

Many trips to the curb.  And it’s something I only do in the mornings,  since I have very little desire to clean up after some wayward racoon or coyote,  who might happen to smell something that’s too hard to resist in with our refuse.


What I expect,  is to see all the containers at least back on the grass,  even though stacking them would be a bonus.

But this:



…will never do.

I think I might have to make a call.  I totally “get it” if my recycling isn’t quite in the proper container.  I mean,  there are rules.  But here, the chimp has made the effort to empty the containers,  but somehow didn’t have enough strength left over to catch them with the toe of his boot and punt them back onto the grass?  I’m not asking for much.  Just give them a kick.

We do have a few cars go by from time to time.  Not too wise to leave them on the “carriageway”.


Anyway,  it’s been a bit of a hot one today,  but I did want to take down our old clothes line since the word is,  the boys will be coming Monday or Tuesday to start on the evestroughing, soffits and facia.   We’ve been patiently waiting.  But patience are wearing thin.



Where the clothes line once was mounted will be siding,  so it had to come down.  Plus,  it’s been up there for over twenty years,  and was starting to get a bit cantankerous.  Came off much easier than I had anticipated.

The jury is out as to whether any work will get started on Monday.  I don’t even want to go there.


Oh,  and look. The slightly smarter than a chimp fellow who did the recycling didn’t have any issues with putting everything back.




Not that difficult.  Yes, it was a hot day.  Just keep hydrated.  That’s all.  And you know,  don’t be a lazy jack-ass.


I guess that’s all I got.  Just some mumblings about incompetent people.  I wrote down the number of the truck.  Probably should have called earlier.  Most likely now I won’t bother.

I’ll be watching.


Storms a comin’.   Took some effort,  but I put the Merc in the garage.  Supposed to get hail.  Just as soon not pay that deductible.


Keep it between the ditches,  and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

It’s been a busy few days.

And I suppose I could inundate you with 150 or so pictures of sailboats,  but we won’t go there.

The Bronte Rocks Regatta is pretty much the only weekend sailing that I sign up for, which means being on the water from around 10 in the morning until well into the afternoon.  Like, four or so.

I find that typically, getting a weekend pass is quite difficult,  and as it was,  there was a big party to get myself to on the Saturday,  and I didn’t stick around for very long after Sunday’s races either.  I think on that occasion,  I was just too flippin’ tired.  And I have the lacerations to prove it.

Now that it seems that I’m the resident Foredeck Dude,  that also comes with a couple bumps and scrapes from time to time.  Especially Sunday,  since it was just windy enough to make it interesting.

Gybing the spinnaker pole when it’s blowing much more than about 10 knots can be well….interesting.



Oh look,  all those boats are almost tipped over.


Which is probably why Travelling Companion has never had the slightest interest in sailing. 

Oh well.

You wouldn’t get me on a roller coaster for love nor money,  but the wind can just be honkin’  and that’s just fun.

Seems a bit odd, I realise.  Possibly some sort of mental instability.

I was just now trying to find a fairly brief description of a spinnaker gybe (or “jibe” if you prefer) and the best one might be this one.  I gave up on Youtube videos.   There were at least a couple were they didn’t really impress me too much.

And yes, it looks complicated, and I suppose at first it does seem that way.  No more than doing a brake job on a 69 Chevelle.  Just takes practise.


I think that’s all I got for today.   We did have our customary ‘last drink of the summer’ at the pub last night.  We convened early in response to the sad sacks who had to go to work this morning.  We used to convene at about 11:00 p.m. for one drink,  but instead met up at seven.   Kind of sucky la-la if you ask me,  but whatever.


Maybe tomorrow I’ll make mention of my “workplace” this morning. 

It was fun.  Really.

I think the humidity is dropping.  Yay me.


Thanks for stopping by.